The Kalalau Trail (Kah-lah-low “low rhymes with how” Get it? Kah-lah-low) is the epitome of hiking trails. 11 looooong miles of intense physical and mental challenges mixed with an awe-inspiring coastline, friendly hikers, and the most incredible destination one could strive for: Kalalau Beach.
There’s only two ways to reach Kalalau Beach my friends: hiking the daunting trail or kayaking from Ke’e Beach. Either way, you’re going to have to go back the way you came.
Now incase you’re wondering, my husband and I are pretty active–we love to hike (if the flat paved trail near our house counts), and we love to be outdoors (mainly, out on our patio enjoying a couple of cocktails while watching the sun set), and we even make exercise a daily habit (yes, I’m totally counting yard-work or walking the dogs as exercise), but to be completely honest, we are mostly active during the fall: active football fans, my friends: games, stats, fantasy football, traveling to see our teams play. Oh, that’s not what you meant by “active”? I digress. 😉
In all seriousness, the Kalalau Trail isn’t for beginners. While the idea of challenging myself to 11-miles of pure hell to experience one of the most magical places on Earth seems awesome and totally bucket-list-worthy, the last thing I want to do is kill myself on vacation by falling off Crawlers Ledge–it’s 500 feet straight down to the ocean. To all of those who have completed this incredible hike, I raise my Mai-Tai (including that cute little umbrella) and Toast to You!
Both Photos found via Google Images
All kidding aside, while we aren’t in top physical condition, we aren’t completely out of shape either, so my husband and I
finally decided it was time to hike part of the Kalalau Trail. We decided that we would conquer the first mile of the trail–like how I said “conquer”? As if one measly mile really puts a dent in the 22-mile roundtrip trail.
It’s one mile. How hard can it be really?
The answer. HARD.
Sweat producing, red-in-the-face, hold-on-I-need-a-break, I CAN’T BREATHE. Hard.
See the thing about the Kalaulau Trail is that there is no slow incline, or anything gradual or “easy” about it. Within the first two miles you go from sea level to 500′ and back down to sea level. The trail is never “level” as it crosses towering cliffs and deep valleys along the rugged and remote NaPali Coast. And those first two miles are probably two of the easiest miles.
If you want to hike the full 11-mile trail you will need a permit. Plan on spending a night on the trail as you make your way to the magical Kalalau Beach. The trail crosses five valleys, three rivers, lingers dangerously close to several severe drop offs, and will challenge even seasoned hikers with its many mental obstacles or even pure physical exhaustion.
While I enjoyed the challenging hike through the lush, tropical jungle, I found it to be incredibly cruel to look down on this amazing view while I was
sweating buckets glistening in the midday sun:
When it comes to being active, maybe hiking just isn’t for me. Give me the water sports: Swimming, Snorkeling, Scuba Diving, Wakeboarding, Skiing, that’s my idea of an afternoon of fun. To each, their own.
Tell me, have you hiked the Kalalau Trail? How far did you go?